A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s Birthday

w: Johnathon E. Briggs

A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s Birthday

— August 2, 2020 —

Inside the giant gift bag emblazoned with balloons and a festive flamingo, laid a trove of dollar store treasures my wife had picked out for our daughter’s 6th birthday. Among the items: a pair of 20-inch butterfly wings (with shoulder straps), two Slinkys, a Toy Story puzzle, a spiral notebook covered in cosmic swirls, and a pair of pink sunglasses—heart-shaped, of course.

My daughter took delight yesterday in the unboxing of it all (including a surprise from the Apple Store) which made me recall the joy I felt in my early days of dadhood as I looked around our home amazed by all the stuff required to take care of a tiny human.

Here’s a #FatherhoodFlashback from my “dad journal” dated August 10, 2014:

This is what it means to be a parent: you make room.

Everywhere I look in our condo, I see the presence of my daughter making itself visible.

In the kitchen, there’s a rack to dry her bottles and all their accompanying accessories (who knew there were so many parts and special brushes!)

In the pantry, there are two 24-bottle cases of Gerber Good Start formula.

In the living room, in the center of the table, is her travel bassinet, folded out in splendor as if a little Smurf has set up camp where a centerpiece used to be.

In the guest room, a bookcase with nine pullout baskets houses all her clothes; there’s also a pink hamper; a Baby Bjorn carrier; bathing supplies; and boxes of Pampers.

On my shoulder, a diaper bag full of necessities for caring for a newborn, including Desitin.

In my car, window shades to shield her from the sun, a car seat, and the ubiquitous “Baby on Board” sign with suction hook.

My Dear Daughter (DD) is just nine days old today, but I’ve been making room for her ever since I learned we were pregnant. Making room in my space, in my thoughts, in my heart. It’s a welcome intrusion, but one that takes some getting used to. After all, it used to be just me and my wife—now we’re three.

But each day, in funny moments (DD pulling the blanket over her head at Babies ‘R Us) and not so fun moments (DD being fussy, requiring nearly three hours of feeding, burping, changing…so much for making it to the gym), I’m reminded that she chose us to be her parents.

I wonder what lessons she will teach me about life? How will she make me a better man? Time will tell. I’m just honored to be her father and excited about the adventures that lie ahead.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to make room.

Happy birthday, my little Leo!

Father on,




Share this:

546 words

8.2.20

Johnathon E. BriggsHusband • Dad • Wingtip Shoe Enthusiast • On @GoodMenProject • #BlackDadMagic • ΑΦΑ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Input comment
Input name Input email

Person of Interest: Lola Dada-Olley – Not Your Mama’s Autism Podcast

Preparing for a School Year Like No Other

What Are Dads Made Of? A Dad-Lib For Father’s Day

© Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme

Copyright © 2019 — Blank Canvas Studio, LLC | No use without permission

About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Share this:

Person of Interest: Lola Dada-Olley – Not Your Mama’s Autism Podcast

What I’m Reading: My August List of Books

A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s Birthday

Preparing for a School Year Like No Other

What Are Dads Made Of? A Dad-Lib For Father’s Day

Person of Interest: Robyn Price Pierre – Creator of the FATHERS Art Book

The Weight of It All: Reflections of a Black Father on the Killing of George Floyd

When Coronavirus Comes to Daycare

Person of Interest: Rob Palkovitz – The Fatherhood Researcher

Existing While Black is a Pre-Existing Condition

View More

About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Share this:
Scary Mommy
The Mighty Contributor
Copyright © 2017-2020 Blank Canvas Studio, LLC | No use without permission